In the early morning of January 2, Vietnam time, coach Jurgen Klopp’s team convincingly defeated Newcastle with a score of 4-2 to continue to maintain the No. 1 position in the Premier League rankings. This is a duel where Liverpool creates suffocating pressure that makes the opponent just endure the battle. Overall, The Kop had a performance that satisfied fans. However, looking at the recent match, there are still 4 factors that the Red Brigade needs to quickly improve as the pressure to compete for the throne will increase.
1. Squandering a series of opportunities
Despite scoring 4 goals against the “Magpies”, it cannot be denied that coach Jurgen Klopp’s attack squandered too many opportunities. The Kop’s strikers launched 34 shots with an expected goal ratio of up to 7.27, but the excellence of goalkeeper Martin Dubravka made Red Brigade fans regret many times. Liverpool was stuck in finding Newcastle’s net in the first half despite having 18 shots at the opponent’s goal.
Luckily, after many efforts, results came to the red half of Merseyside in the second half thanks to the brilliance of individuals, most notably Mohamed Salah. Previously, The Kop also had 30 shots against Man Utd without scoring a goal in round 17. Obviously, in a long-distance race with opponents, wasting too many opportunities will affect the team. Liverpool’s goal. They need to be more decisive in bombarding the opponent’s goal.
2. Too dependent on Mohamed Salah
The Red Brigade’s recent victory bore the mark of Mohamed Salah when he had 2 goals, 1 assist and the initial pass that led to Curtis Jones’s goal. It can be seen that Liverpool still depends heavily on the “King of Egypt”. Therefore, when the player born in 1992 missed a penalty kick in the first half, coach Jurgen Klopp’s team fell into a deadlock in finding the opponent’s net before the two teams entered the break.
Being too dependent on Mohamed Salah is very dangerous for Liverpool, especially when the 31-year-old striker has to return to play for the Egyptian national team at the African Nations Cup (CAN). Obviously, the remaining strikers will need to carefully adjust their sights to take on the goal-scoring responsibility left by the senior in the near future.
3. Darwin Nunez is too ungainly
One of the strikers who will have to adjust his aim the most when Mohamed Salah is absent will be Darwin Nunez as he has been too ungainly in scoring recently. It was thought that the goal that ended the streak of more than 12 unsuccessful matches against Burnley in the previous round would help the Uruguayan player clear the way, but the factor born in 1999 continued to squander opportunities.
During the match against Newcastle, Darwin Nunez had 8 shots, including 3 missed opportunities to score in front of goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. The 24-year-old striker still shows a sharp tactical vision and smart moves, but finishing is the biggest problem that prevents him from contributing more to the Red Brigade.
4. Moments of distraction
Rising high and putting suffocating pressure on the opponent also caused coach Jurgen Klopp’s team to leave a lot of space in the defense. Continuously pressuring Liverpool exposed their flanks and was exploited by Newcastle, typically with a quick counterattack with Alexander Isak leveling the score 1-1. This is also a weakness that the Red Brigade needs to pay attention to and overcome in the future.
Danh Nguyen | 10:20 January 2, 2024